SBD/September 11, 2013/Events and Attractions

U.S. Open Sees Increase In Attendance, Including Record Day/Night Session

Single-day attendance records were set on consecutive days this year

The USTA said that the recently-completed U.S. Open set a record for concession sales, recording $37M million in receipts. The event recorded $22.9M of food and beverage sales, topping last year’s high of $21.1M million, while merchandise hit $14.1M. USTA Dir of Communictions Chris Widmaier said that the category normally does not bring in more than $13M. Widmaier noted that concession prices did not increase much, so high demand sparked the increase. Levy handles concessions for the USTA, and FMI merchandise (Daniel Kaplan, Staff Writer). The event also drew a total of 713,026 fans during the two-week tournament in Flushing Meadows, up slightly from 710,803 fans last year and good enough for the fourth-best total ever. The tourney saw record attendance for a day session with 38,120 fans attending on Sun., Sept. 1. The previous record had been set the day before with 38,070. Sept. 1 also marked a record attendance for combined day/evening sessions with 62,794 fans (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

TOTAL ATTENDANCE FOR U.S. OPEN IN FLUSHING MEADOWS
YEAR
ATTENDANCE
'13
713,026
'12
710,803
'11*
658,664
'10
712,976
'09
721,059
'08
720,227
'07*
715,587

CHART NOTE: * = Takes into account the effect of rain exchanges.

CAN TOURNEY GET A DIFFERENT DATE? NBCSN’s Michelle Beadle said of the U.S. Open conflicting with Week 1 of the NFL regular season, “It’s unfortunate that tennis is in a position with the U.S. Open, especially with the finals being on Sunday and Monday, right as we kick off the NFL season. I don’t know if there’s room to change that, but if you could, where would you put it?” SI’s Jon Wertheim said, “It’s like the Jenga tower, you start moving weeks and this tournament gets upset. Monday afternoon is probably not the best time to have a major sporting event final.” Wertheim joked, “You're competing with 'Judge Judy.'” Wertheim added, “This has always been an issue but you're up against a monster that is the NFL. If you happened to have cut away though from the Packers, Niners or from the Lions game yesterday, that was a great sporting event.” "The Dan Patrick Show" Exec Producer Paul Pabst said, “Social media really alerted people to flip the channels” (“The Crossover,” NBCSN, 9/9).

RETRO FIT: The West Side Tennis Club in the Forest Hills area of Queens, which served as the site of the U.S. Open from '24-77, has recently "doubled as an A-list concert venue." CBS' Jim Axelrod said, "Concert promoters came up with a million bucks to refurbish the place and last month for the first time in 16 years, they held a concert here, Mumford and Sons. A British band packed the place." West Side Tennis Club Head Groundskeeper Jim Sheridan said he has "hope that this is a start of definitely coming back as a facility for concerts." Axelrod added, "There's even talk about full tennis exhibitions featuring elite players and who knows, one day maybe even a top-flight professional tournament here again" ("CBS This Morning," 9/10).

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